Mixing Your Music - Get a Professional Sound | Mikael Baggström | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction to Professional Mixing


    • 2.

      Mike's Top 10 tips on Mixing


    • 3.

      The 5D Canvas of Music


    • 4.

      The Music Production Chain


    • 5.

      Dimension 1 - Time


    • 6.

      Dimension 2 - Frequency


    • 7.

      Dimension 3 - Level


    • 8.

      Dimension 4 - Panning


    • 9.

      Dimension 5 - Space


    • 10.

      Mixing Workflow Step 1 - The Mixing Setup


    • 11.

      Mixing Workflow Step 2 - The Rough Mix


    • 12.

      Mixing Workflow Step 3 - The Final Mix


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About This Class

Learn how to Mix your Music Professionally
Are you interested in Music Production, Songwriting and Making Music on your computer? Well if you want to get a professional sound on your final music productions, you need to learn how to mix your music.

Examples of things you will Learn

  • The 5D Canvas of Music
  • The Music Production Chain
  • How to Mix in the 5 Dimensions
  • Practical Mixing Workflow
  • + Bonus Tips and Tricks

Start Today
Invest in yourself today, and thank yourself tomorrow. Enroll now, and I’m waiting for you inside the class! =)

Friendly regards,
Mikael "Mike" Baggström
Music Composer | Sound Designer | Video Creator

Meet Your Teacher

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Mikael Baggström

Music Composer | Sound Designer | Video Producer


Hey Friends and Creative People!

My name is Mike, and I am a Music Composer, Sound Designer and Artist. I Share my Story, Journey, Experience and Knowledge, to Inspire and Empower Creative People like you. =)


I believe that learning should be fun. I love to bring my personality into my teaching style. I also try to make my courses dynamic, to be more interesting to you. =)

Friendly regards,
Mike from Sweden
Compose | Artist | Educator

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction to Professional Mixing: Hey, friends and music makers Mike here and now it's time for you to learn the essentials of mixing your music productions to get a professional sound. Let's begin. So what does it mean to mix your music well in excess essence? Mixing music is actually very straightforward. The overall goal is to create a good balance off the overall production. You do this by mixing all individual tracks, using various techniques to call out their own unique space. In the final mix, you are striving to get a good degree off separation between every single track in your project so that they each have their own place, their own domain in the mix. Yes, tracks will overlap with each other. That's only natural because total separation is basically impossible. But when you add up all the techniques you will learn in this course, you will be able to create better separation between tracks, which will lead to higher clarity for all instruments and sounds in your mix. Imagine a lump restaurant full of people talking all around you. The overall sound will be like a big roll off noise. You will be able to hear that it's lots of people talking, but not really individual conversations. This analogy is like a bad mix in a music production, lots of instruments and tracks fighting with each other, which will create a big, muddy mess of sound. But let's say you had a volume control for each person in that restaurant. Let's say you could panned them differently in the stereo space. It just their voices with e que and filtering automate volume. Use compression to tame the audio balance and soul. Well, then you would be in control over all conversations so you could separate them enough to be able to hear what they talk about. That's an analogy for what good mixing is about. Amazing. Now you know what you will be able to do when you learn essential techniques off mixing music. It's time for you to get in control of your music. Learn the true power off, mixing practice the or to improve your skills. Become a master off your music productions. I might, and I'll see you in the next 2. Mike's Top 10 tips on Mixing: Hey, friends and music makers Mike here and in this video, I'm going to give you my top 10 tips or mixing music professionally. All right, I will go pretty fast, but you can always go back and watch again. Tip one. Focus on the bigger picture. Mixing music is all about the final result. The big picture. That's why I advise you to focus the majority of your time on things that have major impact on the bigger picture. Like the group channels, for example, tip to make many small changes. My personal guideline is to make lots of small changes all over the mix. Increase the parameter a bit here, reduced a bit there. Drastic changes on individual instruments generally sound bed, so having the mind set off doing lots of small changes tend to produce the most natural sounding and professional mixed tip. Three. Mix the core first. What is the core? Well, it's basically the absolute main focus of your music. The most important elements, if you will. Usually it's things like drums, bass and lead melody or vocals. If you get those balanced and mixed good first, the rest of your tracks will be much easier. Tip. Four. Put this spotlights in the center. Think of your music as a theater stage and your instruments as actors. You will always have lead actors that have the main spotlights on them, and likewise, you will have instruments and sounds in your music production that demands more attention. You give them that by placing them in the center, so decide which sounds in your mix or the lead actors. Tip. Five. Mix with your ears first. The most important to you have as a music composer and producer or your ears. Learn how to use them to instinctively listen to the music, the instruments and individual cells, and make small changes while actively listening with care. Resist the temptation to use an analysis to like a spectrum analyzer. Onley. Use technical tools like that to confirm your instincts. Tip six. Use reference tracks. Find published popular music in a similar style to your track and used as a guiding reference. These are already professional mixed. In fact, listening and analyzing to professionally mixed music can be a good way to train your ears . Perhaps your music tends to have too much lower end or perhaps too little high frequencies . Tip. Seven. Learn your room and still you monitors. Every room will add its acoustic fingerprint to what you hear when you listen to your studio monitors. That's why you should listen to a lot of music in your studio and on your monitors so that you learn the very sound off the room and your speakers. Tip. Eight. Calibrate your levels. Our ears respond very differently to various volume levels, which effects how we hear the frequencies and the balance in the music will listen to. That's why you should calibrate your studio monitors to a specific level so that you will always mix your music while monitoring at a pre defined sound low. Simply search for calibrate your studio monitors on Google and full of one of the guides to find tip nine. Check your stereo balance and moral capability. It's important to know that many people will listen to your music on a moral system like on small devices like smartphones, tablets, etc. During the mixing process. It's important that you check your mix in monaural every once in a while on the final mix, should have a good stereo balance and also sound good even on a moral system. Tip 10 mix to a dedicated loudness level. I always makes my music so that the final production will have a dedicated average loudness level. You will produce much better mixes if you're not too much influenced by the loudness level . Often we fool ourselves by thinking a change made sound better when it's simply made it sound louder. I recommend using a loves meter plugging on your master stereo output and deciding right at the start of your mixing process, which average loudness level. You're going to mix the attractive, for example, minus 14 loves. All right, those were my top tips or mixing your music professionally. I hope some of these tapes has made you more aware of your own mixing process. Now there is only one way of improving your mixing skills, and that is by mixing a lot off music. Nothing beats learning. By doing so. Make sure to implement and try out some of the things you learn from my tips, then makes as much music as you can each and every week. My name is Mike, and I'll see you in the next 3. The 5D Canvas of Music: In this video, you will learn my special concept off professional mixing off music, which is based on the five D canvas of music, and you or the painter mixing music versus painting. This is a concept I have developed for teaching professional mixing, and it is also a great guideline to having the back of your mind when working on your mix. It is based on the analogy off painting. And don't worry. You don't have to be Leonardo da Vinci to mix your music into a professional production, but I believe the painting analogy is great for developing a sense off perspective. Off music. The painter has strict boundaries to work within when creating his art the size of the canvas, the brushes and the tools use of the colors he can produce with his palate. But even within those limits, a painting can become a true masterpiece. The thousands of individual strokes of the brush, all the layers of paint and it picture and mix of colors all work together to make up the final painting. What murders is the impression you get when you stand and watch the final painting up on the wall? Any complementary frame. Now let's compare these two music. As with painting, you have restrictions based on physics and the rules of the digital domain, which makes up the audio recording of your finished production. An example of such a restriction is the human hearing. There is no reason to make music outside off the range our ears can hear sound. Your mission is to paint your music within the range and boundaries you have available for audio and sound. So when you mix music, you can imagine yourself as a great painter, a Leone arable DaVinci. But for music, so what is the five D canvas of music? Well, it's not paint or colors, but compared to a physical painting, you actually have a larger domain in music for painting your final most appease of sound. I call this the five D Cameras of Music, which stands for the five dimensions. When mixing your music production, let's go through them one by one dimension one time the first dimension to paint your music in its time. If you have two different sounds, you can have them play exactly at the same time, or you can align them slightly off each other and you can even separate them entirely in the time dimension. The time dimension has the strongest impact off the separation between instruments and sounds in the mix. The biggest control over time is in the arranging stage, which is mostly handled by the composer. But he can, for example, a line audio all media tracks after the pieces finished as a producer and mixing engineer. And, of course, many music makers these days do it all themselves, from composing to arranging to producing and mixing. Even slight variations in timing can have a great effect on the clarity and separation between tracks. For example, let's say you have to percussive zones starting at the exact same time. You can simply drag one of them slightly earlier in the greed of your D W and the other slightly later in the greed. Now the two cells will have some separation in timing off the starting point for percussive sounds. It can be a matter off milli seconds to create that separation dimension to frequency. The second dimension off the five D canvas of music is frequency. You are limited to the range of human hearing to paint your music in the general rule is 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz or 20 killers. For short 20 Hertz is the lowest bass sound humans can hear in average, and 20,000 hertz is the highest frequency. We can pick up the music Earth but is made up from 12 notes that are spread over several octaves. Every note represents a different fundamental frequency, going from the very lowest base to the highest pitch. And when composing and arranging music, it is very important to be aware of where in that frequency range you're placing all your instruments and sounds in the mixing stage. I believe the frequency adjustments you do to each instrument and track is one of the most important elements you have control over in the final canvas of your music production. You have several tools available as a mixing engineer, such as equalization, Hi Paul's and low post filtering, multi bad and compression etcetera. Dimension three level. The third dimension you have available in the five D canvas of music is level or volume, if you will, since we are working in the digital domain. When mixing your music, you're restricted by the boundaries off the digital audio scale the level of audio, meaning the volume at any single moment in time is described by a digital value. And these value has a roof on absolute peak level, which is Ciro decibel. Nothing can go over that limit, and if you try, it will only cut the audio away form straight off at that peak level. Like his samurai sword or even better analogy is to think of the DD two audience scale as a glass of water. You can Onley pour a limited amount of water into that gloss before it is full. The full gloss represents zero decibel in the digital audio scale. If you try to pour more water into it, that water will spill all around the edges and created mess. But the actual girls will still have the same amount of water in it. When mixing your music, you can balance your instruments and sounds to be more or less in focus by adjusting the level off all tracks. This is mainly done by using all those level failures in the mixer, but he can also use to, such as dynamic compression, sightseeing, compression, limiting etcetera to shape both the peak level as well as the average level off all individual tracks in your mix. Dimension four. Panning In the old days of music, everything was recorded in mono, and in fact, there are still devices that Onley place out in model today. I know it's terrible, but sadly, it's true. Of course, the best listening experience of music comes from adding the dimension of stereo or even surround sound, in some cases placing the instruments from left to right or, in the case off, surround even from front to back. For these, you use a panning knob in your mixer, and it is very important to learn how to use this dimension. If you have two instruments that are fighting a lot with each other, such as a calm piano and a rhythm guitar, for example, when play together, you will hear how much they compete, which is drastically decreasing the separation and clarity of each instrument. But by simply adding variation in the panning dimension, you will enhance the separation and clarity a lot, so let's do some panning on the rhythm guitar track as well as the comm piano track, turning them in separate directions and let's take a listen If you listen to this on a stereo system, you could clearly hear the improved separation between the rhythm guitar and the calm piano track. However, you should be aware that if your personally since to the track on a moral system, for example, on a radio, a phone, etcetera, that separation will not be present. So don't rely on panning alone. Dimension five Space The final and fifth dimension off the canvas of music is space, and by space, I mean acoustic space. All audio can have various degrees in kinds of acoustic rooms. Sound embedded into the sound. For example, your voice will sound very different in a bathroom compared to a bedroom. This is because of the difference in audio reflections in the room, the room size materials, etcetera. The musical term for these is reverberation or reverb for short. Now in mixing, you can use this fact to create separation between tracks by applying various degrees and styles of reverb sound on different tracks because variation creates contrast, which in turn makes it easier for our brain to separate each sound. In fact, you should remember the word contrast. It is part of the essence of music production and mixing. Compare these two painting again a year. Low object in the painting will stand out even more if it is placed against a blue background. Because if you know some color theory, you know that blue and yellow or what is called complementary colors, which means that they are on the opposite sides of each other in the color real. Basically, the contrast ratio is as high as it can be between the colors. So if you have a very dry sound meaning minimal reverb, it will feel even more focused on punchy if played at the same time as a sound with a high amount of river. Amazing. Now you have learned the very important concepts off mixing your music professionally, the five dimensions off the canvas of music. So remember these five dimensions. Write them down. Take a moment to truly Litton, sink in and use them as your guideline. The five dimensions of the canons of music, time, frequency level panning and space. Because when you mix your music productions, you or indeed, the Leonardo da Vinci or music, I might, and I'll see you in the next 4. The Music Production Chain: in this video, you are going to learn a very important rule about mixing music in relation to other production steps in the process of making a final piece of music. Do not fix it in post. I'm going to explain these using another analogy. And this time is from the film industry, because a film said is a very hectic place and mistakes are made all the time. This fact has created a cle she phrase that's being used so many times when there is no time to correct. The mistake on Set will fix it in post, meaning that they leave it to the post production team to try to solve it. Of course, the post production guys are so tired of this, but it has become part of the process, so they just accept it for what it is. Well, mixing music and mastering for that matter or the final stages in a music production. So when you mix your music, you are essentially in the same step as the post production guys. For movies, making music is a chain off tasks. It starts with an idea continues with the composing step, then to the recording off instruments and sounds than arranging and then mixing. And finally, mastering every chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You should not fix things in post, meaning the mixing and mastering stage. If you're mixing your own music, you are in complete control. And even if you not makes your music, you can often contact the artist and suggest changes to improve a recording. The arrangement, etcetera. It is always better to correct things earlier in the chain. Let me give you an example. If you have a vocal recording that sounds too bright instead of correcting it with EQ you in the mixing stage, which we can call the postproduction states. It is much better to try out different microphones until you find it better, one that suits that vocalist and song. And in some situations you might actually want to change out the vocalist altogether. Let me make another example. Let's say you have too much going on during any part of your song. Well, instead of trying to correct that mess and mud in the mixing stage, change it in the arrangement and the composing process instead. So remember music production is a chain off steps that are all important and must be treated with care. Don't rush through any stage because it will badly affect the end result. Another important thing to remember is that this chain is not static. As a music creator, you can and should jump back and forth to any port of your chain to make changes and improvements. Don't let any step become superior to another. All these steps all of equal importance. Remember the chain of music production, and you will have a much easier time mixing your music to achieve a professional sound. My name is Mike, and I'll see you in the next video. 5. Dimension 1 - Time: In this video, I will explain various ways to mix your music using the first dimension off the canvas of music time. Why do we begin with time as the first dimension in the canvas of music? Simple, because when you separate instruments and sounds in time, you create the best separation between them. Usually this dimension off painting your music in it's done in the composing and arranging process of a music production. But you have ways to create separation in time in the mixing process as well. Let's take a practical example. If you have a kick drum and a bass drum playing at the same time, all loads that they're figured and played at the same point in time, we'll have heavy conflict between them, and both tracks will lose clarity as a result. So let's say you have a kick drum beat in 44 meaning four beats per bar and a baseline that plays a straight eight beat pattern. Every other bass note will clash with the kick drum, and the low in spectrum in your music production will become muddy and uncontrolled. But if you instead compose and arrange the kick drum hits and baseline notes to be completely separate in time, half of your mixing job is already done. For example, if you play the bass notes on the off beats on Lee, the kick drum hits will sound clear and the bass notes accents will still have their focus . But you might not want to keep the base Onley in between the kick drum hits. Well, a neat trick is to simply align the baseline track to trigger the notes slightly early. We are talking about milli seconds here just to let the initial attack off the base notes be heard before the attack off the kick drum nodes. And this is something you can do in the mixing stage, even if you're not in control of the composing and arranging process. In some cases, you can even push these second track a bit later in the greed to add even more separation. But for the kick drum, you usually want to have it tied to the grid. Let me show you a practical demonstration, so one way to align your tracks in space is to simply select a clip in the sequencer, turn snapping off, and then simply drag with your mouse, either to the left or to the right. But I have found that the best way to slightly realign tracks in space with the most control and precision is to use a feature that most DWS has, where you can automatically align the whole track by adding a delay to it, which can be both positive or negative, depending on which direction you want to push to the track. This might be different, depending on your D W. But in logic, you simply select the track you want to line and then go to the track Inspector over here and find a feature called DeLay is under more here, and you can make this delay either positive or negative. Let me show you what happens if I use a high value setting here and ah, in the sequencer. The tracks are still perfectly aligned to the greed and in sync with each other, but now you will hear the bass track playing the notes much earlier. Because of this delay, I have added, so you can set the delay manually by dragging up or down with your mouth when you hold left mouse button or write something in with your computer keyboard. Or you can use this button over here to see actual note values and what they correspond to in ticks as well as in mili seconds. So let's say we want to push it earlier by a full 16th notes, which is 240 ticks, which equals to 136.4 milliseconds. Now listen to what the track sounds like. As you can hear, the bass sounds totally out of time because I pushed it really hard to the left in the grid . But if you choose a more moderate sitting like, for example, that's do around 20 milliseconds, which equals two, a 96 note and 40 takes now you will create some added separation between the kick drum and the bass, which can bring out your base pluck sound. And this will still sound tight in the mix. So let's listen. In fact, it is quite common that bass players place ally Italy early in the grid. Now let's do another example if you have a rhythm guitar track and a calm piano fact playing at the same time and in about the same range off the frequency spectrum they will compete with each other. Well, you can always ask yourself, Should both tracks be playing at the same time? To begin with? Perhaps you commute the piano while the guitar provides the comping and rhythm for the track and then switch to the piano and mute the guitar in another section of the track. Basically, you're using the principle off arranging. But in the mixing process, consider that as one option. If you have two tracks that are heavily competing with each other, any specific frequency domain the next tip I have is switching focus over time any production, because mixing is generally about choosing. But the listener should focus on which tracks should take the four round and which ones should be in the background for support. Let's say the guitar comes in first in the track and then the piano. Well, one trick I use personally for creating separation. Using the time dimension here is to switch focus between two competing instruments not by muting or cutting. Two completely separate them in time, but to automate the level on each track to choose Onley, one off them as the foreground at any single point in time So when the piano comes in second here, I automate the rhythm guitar to go down in volume for this section, and in another section I could switch back to focus on the guitar again. So I automate the levels on both tracks accordingly. The time dimension for mixing and creating separation is not restricted to arranging, muting, cutting and adjusting levels. As I mentioned in the previous examples, you can in fact all kinds of automation on various parameters to adjust the degree off foreground versus background on competing instruments in your mix. Basically, you are using different points in time to focus on different sounds and instruments in your mix. Every time you introduce a new instruments or sound in your track, consider which instruments you can dial down the focus on in the mix so that the new instrument can be clearly heard. The reason these works great is that our ears and brain have already processed the old instruments, So even though we reduced the focus on it, we will still hear them clearly because the pattern and presence off them has already been processed by our mind. All right, let's sum up the key points you have learned one time is the single most powerful dimension to create separation between instruments and sounds. Indoor mix to most control over the time dimension is in the composing and arranging process by separating when notes are triggered, as well as arranging sections where instruments play or not play three in mixing. You can always align the individual tracks or sections to be slightly early or late in the grid. To add some time separation on the initial attack, Port off the instruments in your mix. Four. You can also cut mute and rearranged sections off instruments in the mixing process to avoid competition. And five, you can use the power of automation to just certain parameters, like level panning filters and e que to basically shift the focus for the tracks in your mix. Remember this. You can go in two directions on Lee. Either you pushin instrument back in the mix, meaning less focus on it or you pull it to the front, meaning more focus on it for the listener. Congratulations. You have now learned how to control time well in music. That is because time machines are still not available in my local store now take action and practices, adding separation in time when notes or triggered switch and focus between tracks for different sections in your project and pushing and pulling instruments to the back or front of your mix using automation. I can promise you that this is extremely powerful for creating better and more professional mixes. I might, and I'll see you in the next video. 6. Dimension 2 - Frequency: in this video, I will teach you various ways to mix music using this second dimension off the canvas of music frequency. All right, so I called these dimension frequency, but as you probably know, frequency and pitch or related in music, you have several octaves to compose your music and sounds within. Now this means that, as with the time dimension, you have the most control over the distribution off old instruments and sounds over the frequency range when you are in the composing and arranging mode, basically, you're trying to create a balance off all the instruments and sounds in your mix to fill up the entire frequency range without getting too cluttered in any specific range. Let's say you, for example, have too much going on in the mid range, which is pretty common. Well, when you are composing, you can, for example, consider transposing instruments up or down an octave to reduce the cutter in any specific range of frequencies. Or you can simply mute an instrument during a certain passage in your track. Because one rule of mixing is that every time you take something away, the things remaining automatically get more power and clarity. so it's not about boosting levels. Most often, it's a matter of either removing or reducing other elements in the mix. Now, if you are a post the composing and arranging mode, you can do much in the technical mixing mode as well your best friends here or the equalizers on the filters. You can use EQ use and filters on basically every track in your project. When you mix to shape the tone and frequency, curve off all those tracks so that each track get its own space and focal point in the frequency dimension. Let me give you a practical example. Let's say you have a kick drum and a base that are fighting with each other. Your role in the mixing stage is to make sure both of these tracks or audible and distinct in the mix. This means you will have to take creative decisions when you shape the tone and focal point of these two tracks. Here's one way you can work. Start by using a Parametric equaliser on the kick drum, said it to a narrow band and swipe with a big boost in decibels over the lower frequencies until you find a good clear thump that marks the fundamental stomp off the kick drum. Let's say you find it to be at around 120 hertz. Then you choose a specific equalizer, plugging that you want to use to shape the sound off the kick drum and boost a couple of decibels on 120 hertz on that kick drum track. Then you add an e que on the bass track, where you do the exact opposite, reducing by a couple of DB, all 120 hertz. Then you go over to the bass track and do the e que swiper method on it as well. Let's say you find a good, fundamental based own at around 60 hertz again. Use an E que boost on 60 hertz on the bass track and then on the kick drum track, you do the opposite, making a small cut on 60 hertz by a couple of decibels. This is basically the essence of mixing in the frequency dimension, choosing a focal point for a certain track, boosting it a bit on that focal point on cutting a bit on competing tracks on the same frequency. This will create veterans separation between tracks. One more thing. An instrument doesn't have to have only one focal point. For example, you might want to have another focal point on the kick drum track to extent the initial hit Port Off the Sound, which is a much higher frequency. Let's say you find a nice part off the attack. Sound off the kick drum to be around two kilohertz. Well, then you add another focal point on that frequency and do the EQ. You boost versus cattle routine again. A general advice I like to give when using e que is to be careful with how much you apply. It generally sounds best in small doses. That's why boosting a little on one track while reducing a little on another track works great. What about filters? Well, filters or basically, each You slopes at either end of the frequency spectrum. A low post filter is a slope in the higher frequency, and that lets the lower frequencies posts and a high pass filter is the opposite, letting the higher frequencies pulse. You can also set how steep the slope is by adjusting the filter cut off in decibels per oak tape. I advise being careful with using very steep slopes because, as with heavy equaling, it can easily take away the natural character over a sound. High. Post filters are very good for removing unnecessary low and rumble in a sound that doesn't have to add that base. Many producers and mixing engineers actually put a bit off filtering on all tracks except the kick drum and bass, because those all the instruments that should handle the very low end off the frequency dimension in music on the opposite spectrum, Low post filters can be great for reducing harshness and bite in an instrument and basically push it a bit back in the mix. A great way to get a clear vocal sound in a mix is to use a bit of low post filtering on basically all tracks except the lead vocal coping instruments like reliving it all come piano backing strings etcetera doesn't have to have much high frequency information at all , because their purpose is mainly to be in the background and the higher frequency domain is what our ears tends to focus on more. So if you want to push an instrument or sound back in the mix, one way is to reduce some of its high frequencies. Amazing. Now you have learned ways to paint your music in the frequency dimension, such as balancing the instruments and sounds in pitch generally in the composing and arranging process. Reduce clutter and miss in a specific frequency range by, for example, transposing tracks to another octave or even muting a section of an instrument using e que and filters to shape all individual tracks in the mix to each have their own space and focal point or focal points. It is super important that you learn how to balance all tracks in your project's over the full frequency range. So please remember, you have a wide range of octaves to paint your music in. My name is Mike, and I'll see you in the next video. 7. Dimension 3 - Level: In this video, you will learn how to mix your music in the third dimension off the canvas of music, which is levels. If you ever played in a band, you have probably learned a lesson about human nature. Everyone seems to always want to increase the level off his instrument and inexperienced music. Composers and producers also fall into this trip because not everything can be loud at the same time. Let me give you an analogy. Let's say you feel a piece of paper with text. Now, what should be the focus for the reader? That's your first creative decision you will have to make. The next is in what way should you direct focus. One of the most common ways is off course by using headlines. Of course, not every sentence can be a headline, because that's ridiculous and wouldn't do any practical good at all. Another way to direct attention is to mark some selected words or group of words in bold again. Selecting the entire text and making it bold would defeat the very purpose of directing focus. So those are extreme examples to illustrate what you do as a mixing engineer. The key point to remember is the more instruments and sounds you try to focus on at any single point in time. The list power they will each have, for example, going back to the piece of paper with text. If you only have one single big headline at the top of the page and the rest of the text being simple paragraphs, that headline will have super powerful focus. The more headlines or the more words you mark in bold, the less impact they will each have. As a mixing engineer, you have the power and responsibility to set the levels off each individual track in a way that guides the listener off the full music production. What or the headlines of your track and what should be marked in bold setting the levels is actually one of the most natural and musical ways to mix music fast and efficiently. Here is one case where I recommend highly to learn to use your ears. I ride those failures without looking at the audio meters or other analysis tools, but first, remember to sit all levels with a high amount of headroom before you start mixing. The technical term for this is gained staging. This means that adjust the level of each track so it has lots of space to increase the level before going into the red. This means that he adjust the level off all tracks before the Channel fader so that he start your mixing process. With all failures set to the default position, which is zero in some D. W's, you have the option to adjust the input level of all tracks directly in the mixer at the top. It's called Game Here in Reason. In other d. A. W's, you need to actually insert a gain plugging as the first insert effect on all tracks to do the gain staging process. But the goal is to make sure you start mixing with a good amount of headroom on each track , and I personally like to start with all tracks having around the same average peak level around minus 20 decibel. So I simply reset old channel failures and then use a gain plugging or input gain on the mixer to adjust each track until the meter shows around minus 20 decibel for the peak sections off each track. When it plays, make sure to balance the cool off the music first and let everything else be mixed around it. The cool for most music is the drums, the base and the lead melody, motif or hook. Those elements should generally have the most focus and power in your mix. When you have those core elements balanced, the rest should follow more easily. Then I usually start by balancing the levels off all the group channels. And after that, I usually go through all the remaining tracks one by one, riding the failures, using my instinct and ears only sometimes I even keep my eyes closed when I set the levels . In fact, my main advice when mixing the levels is to mix musically. Not technically right. Those failures with your ears to guide you Great. Now we have learned to mix the most musical and instinctive dimension of music, which is levels. It's all about deciding what to put as headlines and what to mark in bold. Basically what you want to pull forward in the mix all push backwards. You are in the driving seat, the director off the music production. You have to make the creative choices that guides the listener's attention, and Littles is your go to tool for that. So take action now and practice riding those levels. I highly recommend trying to even close your eyes when you mix levels to really learn how to mix from your instinct, using your ears on away, it is sound You're working with a doctoral. My name is Mike and I'll see you in the next video. 8. Dimension 4 - Panning: Now it's time to enter the world off stereo sound by learning various ways to mix music, using the fourth dimension off the canvas off music, which is panning, All right, so first of all, you need to learn that you cannot depend on these dimension. All the other four dimensions off the canvas of music will be translatable to always of listening to music. But sadly, not all devices people used to listen to music or in stereo. In fact, there are incredibly many devices there are in mono, especially small devices and more bile devices. And even if they or in stereo, it is a very poor, kind off stereo image. Because stereo sound is dependent on physical distance between the left and right speaker in relation to the listener. Basically, you're creating a triangle between you and the two speakers. Now you might understand why so many devices or in mono or what I call minimal stereo sound . With this fact in mind, you should make sure that your mix has a good separation between the instruments and sounds , even without any stereo applied. That's why many producers recommend you to check your mix in Mona every now and then during the mixing process, so let's learn about the basics off stereo sound. Stereo is a way of placing a sound within a field from left to right. This is done with a concept called panning. If a track is pan in the middle, it means that it will send equal amounts of audio signal to the left speaker as the right speaker. Mixing in this fourth dimension is basically separating the individual tracks in the stereo space by panning them differently. Stereo sound has a great power to add depth to your music. With stereo, the music don't appear to originate from the speakers themselves, but from an invisible stage in front of you. For example, if you play back a model sound on a stereo system, both speakers will pay the same sound in the exact same way, which has the psycho acoustic effect off. Making the sound appear to come from a point right in the middle of the two speakers, even though the reality is that both speakers or playing the same sound. This is what stereo sound is all about. Placing your sounds in an invisible stage in front of you here are some guidelines for mixing in cereal one. Keep the core of your music in the center. The most power comes from the sounds appearing to originate from the imaginary centrepoint created by stereo sound. One reason for these is that you will have more focused in the center and also that you will have more physical sound energy coming from both speakers. So the recommendation is to keep the kick drum, snare drum, bass and lead vocals panned straight in the middle. Two more panning equals push back in the mix. The more you pan something, the less power and focus the track will have, which basically means you are pushing it back in the mix. Three. Double tracking equals using the true power of stereo. Have you ever heard about double tracking? Well, it's a technique that uses stereo sound to create a much bigger and more powerful sound. Make sure to get the notes, timing, groove and everything as close as possible on your recordings. Then you pan one track to the very far left and the average of the very four. Right now, you have made a double tracked performance, the most common used for double tracking or for lead vocals as well as rhythm guitar, especially heavy guitar riff and comping tracks. Used this technique pretty much all the time. Four. Low to high mona to stereo. Basically, the lower frequencies have less stereo separation. In the physical world of sound, we can't even here where the lowest frequencies come from. That's why you can place a subwoofer basically anywhere in the room. This is because the lower the frequency, the longer the wavelength grease for the sound, which in port is why bass frequencies travel through walls so easily. So how do you apply this knowledge to your mixing well? Basically, a guideline is to have less stereo separation in the base and lower range of your tracks in your project and MAWR stereo separation in the high mids and trouble that will open up your sound. Give it more depth and dimension while keeping the food production sounding tight and focus because the lows are kept mainly in the middle five stereo with wide or narrow. I have a final advanced tip for you regarding stereo information in an individual track. Start by finding hysteria with control Pugin or perhaps your D W have one already built into your mixer. Because panning is only one part off stereo separation. You can also choose on every single track in your project how wide the stereo fields should be by making a track, have less steri with you're essentially pushing it back in the mix. Amazing. You have now learned the power off stereo sound, how it works and how to implement it into your mixing process. You have even got my top guidelines and tapes on panning and stereo separation, which I use myself for professional mixing now take action and practice ALS. These concept you have just learned on how to use stereo and panning in your mixing workflow in order to truly add that extra depth and separation in your music productions. My name is Mike, and I'll see you in the next video. 9. Dimension 5 - Space: Now it's time for you to learn how to use the power off the fifth and final dimension to paint your music in when mixing, which is space, all recordings of instruments and sounds heavy sense of space in them. That's because physical sounds are affected by the acoustic environment in which they all created the technical term. For this is reverberation or reverb for short, The reverb tells our brain the distance to the sound, how big the spaces and even to some degree, the materials and dimension off the room. When you hear an orchestra recording, you hear the sound off a whole that it was recorded in. Now how can you practically use reverb in mixing to create more separation in space for your music? Well, let me teach you. There's now one reverb, room size and amount. He can use different reverb room sizes as well as amount off wit level for different fax in your project when you mix your music, this will separate the tracks in the three D depth space. The bigger the river bays, meaning a longer decay of the sound. The further back you push it in the mix on the same goals. If you increase the wet to dry ratio. Hi, your wit level means more space. The term dry refers to your sound before it has been affected by any reverb, meaning you haven't added a sense of space in it at all. On the term wit level means the processed output from the river. For example, if you use an orchestral whole reverb on a sound, it will make it sound more distant on the more wit signal you mix with the dry signal, the more spacious and distant the sound will become. The extreme is to go all to 100% meaning you will only hear the pros ist output from the reverb itself on in the opposite direction. If you want to, makes an instrument or vocal to be more focused and in your face, the list, reverb or space you should add. In fact, some instruments. You probably want to keep us dry as you can give them that tight, focused and punchy character. Another example of a really dry recording, meaning minimal sense of space is a voiceover for a commercial movie trailer etcetera. When they record these vocal tracks, they make sure to minimize the reverb in the recording space as much as they possibly can. That's why those recordings can sound like the person is standing right up close to you. Listen to this example of a dry vocal recording, followed by recording with Reverb added. This is a dry vocal recording. This is a vocal recording with reverb. Now I have loaded a river plug in to these rhythm guitar trick which I have sold. So listen to what happens when I increase the reverb dry to wet ratio, going from sear percent, which means total dry sound to perhaps somewhere in the middle, which will be a very spacious and distant sound. I will play the track now. Now, if I am solo, the rhythm guitar on would take a listen to these entire little piece again, you will be able to hear the calm piano taking over as the focus for the listener, since it is basically dry compared to the rhythm guitar which is now very distant and four back in the mix. Let's take a listen. All right, so this was quite an extreme example just to illustrate the main point for you, which is that If you add reverb to a sound, you push it back in the mix, the larger and more wet the river base, the further back you push the instrument, which in turn adjusts the focus to other tracks that are more dry and in front in your mix to reverb prettily, the most important elements of a reverb or this size on the wet level, the size is measured as how long the reverb Taylor's before it fades out completely. On the threat level is simply how much off the pros ist output off the reverb you mix with the dry signal. Well, there's 1/3 element of the river, but that is very important for shaping the attack off the reverb sound. And it's called the pre Dele. Basically, it adds a very short delay on the wet signal off the reverb output compared to the original dry signal. What this means in practice is that the initial attack of your sound will stay dry. Let me share a little story with you to help you understand the concept off pre delay in the river. Let's say you sit in the middle of a big orchestral hole in front of you. You have the orchestra. If they hit a note, you will hear the sound off the instruments in the orchestra slightly before the reverb off the whole. This is because sound takes time to travel, and when they play a note, the sound goes in aled directions directly towards you as well as towards the rules in the fall. By the distance, from the orchestra to you is shorter than the distance from the orchestra to bouncing on the balls and then coming to you. So this is simply physics that you can use in your river. Plug in using the feature called pre Delay. In fact, if you load a whole river, present it. Most probably already have a pre delay time set up because it's the natural state. As you just learn from my little story. Now, take action and use this fifth dimension to place your individual tracks in your mixing project, use different room sizes, very the wet to dry ratio and adjusted pre delay times on different river plug ins. Use on on different tracks in your project. You will be able to not only place your tracks in the stereo space, but in the three D room you create with your makes. My name is Mike, and I'll see you in the next video. 10. Mixing Workflow Step 1 - The Mixing Setup: in this video, I will share my personal mixing work low with you. There's many ways to cook a meal, but I think that you may become inspired and get ideas for how you can create your own system for professional mixing your music. So this is how I begin. Step one organized the project like cooking food. It will be much easier, and you will not waste time if you make sure you have all ingredients at home and also that you put them out on your kitchen bench before his dot. So how does this translate to mixing music? Well, things like ordering your tracks and naming them properly using channel groups to increase efficiency, making sure all tracks or routed correctly, and basically starting up the complete project so that it is very clear and structured before you dive into the mixing stage. Step to clean up of the project like cooking, starting with a clean kitchen bench and Onley. The ingredients you will use will help you a lot, So before I start to mix, I go through the entire project to remove all tracks and sounds that will not be used in the final mix I also remove, or at least reduce unwanted noise by cutting ports or, for example, reducing breath sounds. Then I go through all recordings to see that they have proper fates as well as cross fates to avoid sudden clicks, pops and stops. I listened through all audio recordings as well as media clips to make sure all performances or of high quality on that, there's no audio artifacts in them like, for example, digital clipping, PLO sieves, background noise, etcetera. Since I makes my own music, only I can choose to go back to the recording stage to remake audio recordings or media performances as well. Step three set up prop Rogaine staging on all channels I always do. Proper gain Staging on all tracks gain. Staging is a very important step when you mix in the digital domain because you have a limited amount off headroom before the audio will clip. So how do you do this? Well, you adjust the level on each track before the channel fader to make sure each track has a generous amount of headroom. I personally set it up so that each channel peeks around minus 20 disability or so when the Channel Fader is still in its starting position. Which, of course, is zero. Having this amount of head room to spare is one of the secrets of professional mixing, because mixing is about bones. No, the overall level you can and shoot always decide the final loudness level in the Merced during stage, not in the mixing. 11. Mixing Workflow Step 2 - The Rough Mix: in this video, I will share my way of creating the first draft off the mix, which I call a rough mix. Making a rough mix should be extremely quick so that he will force yourself to trust your instincts and ears for your first draft after game staging and setting up all channels to have equal peak levels around minus 20 decibel. The balance of the mix will be. Chaos now is where the real mixing starts. So here are the steps. I personally use one sitting rough levels for all individual channels. The first thing I do is doing a rough sweep through all individual channels to get a rough starting level for the mix. I do this by going through the channels on a group by group basis. This means I sold the one group at a time step the rough levels for the tracks inside that group, then going to the next group and so on until I have done these two all individual channels inside the project. So I'm not touching the group channel failures at all in this stage two sitting rough levels for all group channels. Once the groups have their internal balance set. It's time to balance the groups against each other. And here, I always thought, with the cool off the track first. In most cases, these is the drums and percussion group, the based group and the lead group, for example, lead vocals, hooks, melodies, etcetera, basically the driving force and focus of your music. Once those main groups have been balanced against each other, I go through the rest of the group channel failures and in most cases reduced the level of it to increase the focus on the core off the music. Then I balanced those other group shells between each other until I have rough makes off all the groups. Three low pulse and high post filters. Before I start adding accused two channels and groups, I always add filters first, and I personally prefer to start directly on the group channels because that will have the biggest effect. And I still want to focus on a quick and rough mix. So, for example, I usually add high pulse filters on every group except the drum Group and the based group. Then I had low post filters on channel groups that I want to push a bit back in the mix like comping instrument groups, for example. Then I adjust the cut off frequency and filter slope off all those filters and on each group channel. Remember, a high pass filter is used to filter out The Lewin on a low post filter is used to filter out the high end off the frequency spectrum. This can be really confusing in the beginning. Four e queuing channels. After adding and adjusting all low post and high pass filters, I continue with the more surgical to to shape the frequencies off all tracks in the mix. The equalizer. I make sure to follow the boost versus cut method, which means that for basically all boosts, I do. I try to find a corresponding cut on a competing sound. This way I can do many small adjustments that all add up to create a clear mix. Five. Panning. Setting the stereo position for all individual tracks is a huge factor for adding separation and clarity in the mix. So, like with the levels, I do a rough sweep with the panning norms on all individual shells. I tend to leave the group Channel Fader is centered on Onley do the panning for the single channels. I always keep the tracks that I want to have the most power and clarity completely in the centre as well. Like the kick drum based on the lead vocals. In fact, anything that you want to stick out and be in the front off the mix should be panned straight in the middle. Six in certificates. Next, I add all in certificates on a channel by channel basis, things like compressors, distortion, plug ins, de guessers, etcetera. Since this will drastically changed the character, the dynamic range and the focus on the individual tracks, I also need to adjust the levels accordingly on the channel failures. Seven. Send effects. The only thing I personally used sand effects for or what's cooled UIT effects these or effects that changed the space dimension of the track, meaning rive herbs on DeLay effects. I already have the sound effects set up in my production template. So in this step, I simply need to adjust the send levels on each channel that I want to have some space to eight playback and analyze after I have a complete rough mix off the full production, I listen back to it. While taking mental notes. I listened for things like poor separation between competing tracks, tracks that sound too bright or to Bumi and even tracks that I feel are not necessary, and Onley creates a mess in the next. Then I go back to the previous steps and repeat them and in some cases, even mute sections or removed tracks. I try to steal, work fast and follow my instinct. Basically, I want to have a rough makes completed in one hour. Then I move on to the final mixing stage, which is all about the fine tuning, as well as implementing special mixing techniques to take the mix to that fool professionals. 12. Mixing Workflow Step 3 - The Final Mix: in this video, I will teach you my final stage off mixing my music to create the final professional makes . All right. So here are the steps I have in my final mixing stage. One fine tuning. I go through each track and make minor adjustments to find you the levels filters IK use panning, sand effects and in certificates. Since I already made a rough mix earlier, I won't do big adjustments here. I also do this for the group channels. I make sure that I still see a good amount of headroom on each track in the mix, which means that no track is near the red on the level meters to automation. Parameter automation is probably the biggest difference between the begin remixes on the professional mixes. You should especially focus on automating the levels on channels that compete with each other. Guide the focus for the listener. Remember, not every sound can be a headline. Mixing is all about creative choices on what to pull to the front or pushed to the back. And automation is a great tool for this three special production techniques. There are many tricks of the trade you can use as a mixing engineer, compression and EQ. Ewing is only the foundation. For example, side Shane compression is a great technique to make sure a certain instrumental sound is clear and distinct in the mix. Most often it's the kick drum that is in focus, and the base is automatically compressed to reduce the presence on each hit or the kick drum. But you might be surprised at how much science in compression is used these days for every possible style of music, because in its essence, sizing compression helps you automate the automation. I also tend to use peril compression on drums and percussion, which is basically blending the UN compressed audio with the heavily compressed or you. This will make the drums hit hard but still keep the authentic open sound. I also like to use transient shapers to control the attack and sustain off percussive sounds, especially a transient shaper, is basically a special type of compressor that has the purpose off bringing out or dialing down the initial attack as well as the sustain over sound. So those are my main special production effects are used in mixing side chain compression, parallel compression and transient shapers for pre mastering in the pre mastering stage. I focus on Lee on the group channels here. I bring out the big guns, the high end compressor plug ins and EQ use to do the final polish off the mix. And again, I used the boost versus cat method to add some slight more separation between the group channels. I also use a special treat here that I want to share with you, which is to add some extra saturation on the cool group channels of your music production. Basically the Drum Group, the based group and the lead group. I do this using an insert effect on each off the core group channels, usually some vintage saturation Plug in five mastering chain. Finally, I add my mastering chain to the master stereo output. Mastering is not really a port off traditional mixing, but I personally like to do my mastering in the same project as the mix. However, I don't activate the plug ins until the very end. My mastering chain changes from track to track, but here is the master chain are usually used as a starting point bum compressor for light . Balancing off the dynamics in the mix how much depends on the style track I produce to e que. To shape the overrule. Sound off the production three stereo imager to open up the high end off the frequency spectrum by widening the story a field and control the low end by pushing it towards the centre. Four limiter to boost the overall level of the production by a couple of decibels. How much depends on the style of music and how much I want to retain the natural transients . Five level meter. Finally, I have a meeting plug in to analyze the average loudness level in the standard Lux meter in system.